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File:Frances Adeline Miller Seward.jpg

Frances Adeline Seward in 1844.

Frances Adeline Miller Seward (1805 – June 21, 1865) was born in 1805, the daughter of Judge Elijah Miller and Hannah Foote Miller. She studied at the Troy Female Seminary (now known as Emma Willard School). She married New York attorney William Henry Seward on October 20, 1824 after meeting through his sister, a classmate, in 1821. In his lifetime, William served as a senator in the New York legislature, Governor of New York, a senator from New York and United States Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

The couple raised five children: Augustus Henry Seward (1826-1876), Frederick William Seward (1830-1915), Cornelia Seward (1835-1836), William Henry Seward, Jr. (1839-1920) and Frances Adeline "Fanny" Seward (1844-1866). Some years after his wife's death, in 1870, William formally adopted his companion Olive Risley Seward (1841-1908).

On April 14, 1865, her husband and two of their sons, Frederick and Augustus, and Fanny, were injured in an assassination attempt on her husband in their house.[1] The man responsible for this ordeal was Lewis Powell a.k.a. Lewis Paine, an associate of John Wilkes Booth who had shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln the same day. The attack put Frances into a state of great anxiety about her family. She thought that Frederick would die of his injuries, although he survived. She died on June 21, 1865 of a heart attack. The events of April 14 undoubtedly hastened her death.


  1. Doris Kearns Goodwin. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005).

Template:Start box Template:S-hon |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Dolly Newell Marcy |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|First Lady of New York
1839–1843 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Catharine Lawyer Bouck |- |}

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